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Sep 24 2015
Public Calls for Independent Outside Investigation Into Kodiak Police Officers' Actions PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 24 September 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
As of Thursday afternoon there was still nothing but silence from the Kodiak Police Department and Kodiak City Hall over allegations that three Kodiak Police officers used excessive force during an encounter with 28-year-old Nick Pletnikoff over a week ago. In the meantime, a letter with links to official state and federal complaint procedures have shown up in some local mailboxes.

Pletnikoff, who is autistic, was, according to eye-witness reports, swarmed by three officers, pinned to the ground, handcuffed and pepper-sprayed on the evening of September 16th as he was checking the mailbox on his street. His mother, who found him minutes later, bloodied, bruised and still handcuffed, said she was told by the officers that their actions were because her son would not answer their questions. A statement five days later, ostensibly from the police chief, said the force officers used was, quote, “minimal and necessary.”

Because of the silence from the city and its refusal to release audio and video recordings of the incident, patience is wearing thin among Kodiak citizens, with many people offering different theories on Kodiak Facebook pages as to what could be causing the delay.

Facebook has been important in getting the word out about Pletnikoff's assault. The activity blotter that the Kodiak Police Department distributes to the press simply referred to the incident with Pletnikoff as, quote, “Suspicious Circumstance, all OK,” unquote. The injuries to Nick Pletnikoff may have remained unknown except for a few people on Steller Way if not for an eyewitness who posted what he saw to Facebook.

KMXT received a letter today (Thursday) from a “concerned citizen,” who wished to remain anonymous because of fear of retaliation from the KPD. The letter expressed concern over how the department has handled the Pletnikoff situation, and reminded citizens that KPD officers are responsible not only to the chief and the city manager, but also to the elected officials and ultimately every citizen of Kodiak. 

The writer suggested an independent outside investigation into the Kodiak Police Department was necessary because of the loss of public trust in the department. The letter supplied a link to a U.S. Department of Justice web page about local police misconduct.

Also included were copies of the Alaska Police Standards Council Law Enforcement Code of Ethics and the council's complaint form, with web links to both. 

Those links are pasted below.

Sep 24 2015
September's Sunday Sounds on the Patio: Folksy Fall Tunes with Ellamy Tiller PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 24 September 2015
ellamy_tiller.jpgEllamy Tiller. Via Kodiak Baptist Mission

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Every month, the Kodiak Public Library hosts a musician in its Sunday Sounds on the Patio series, and the program is starting up again for the fall season.

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You may know this month’s artist from around town. Her name is Ellamy Tiller and she sings and plays guitar with the Twang, a bluegrass band that plays in many local festivals and events.

She says she first went to see the Twang perform at the Rendezvous a year and half ago. Their lead singer for the night had covered a handful of songs and then unexpectedly left the band to play the rest of the gig.

“And everybody that I knew in the place that night was like, oh, I’ve been thinking for years you should play with these guys.’ I had never heard of them, I had never seen them. Somehow we had totally missed each other. I went up to talk them during one of their breaks just to say hey, thanks so much, this is really great. And by the end of our conversation, Jim was like, well do you want to come up and sing with us right now? And I was like yes, yes I do. And so I jumped up on stage and we had our first gig that night.”

Tiller says when she’s playing solo, she likes folksy tunes. To hear a selection of those songs, drop by the Kodiak Public Library Sunday at 2 p.m.
Sep 24 2015
The Alaska Fisheries Report PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 24 September 2015

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Coming Up this week, PSP is found in commercial shellfish beds in Kachemak Bay, a fisherman is going to prison for the death of one of his divers, and soon there'll be enough crawdaddies to have a beach party. A sad, sad invasive species beach party. We had help from KBBI's Quinton Chandler in Homer, The Deckboss Blog, KMXT's Kayla Desroches in Kodiak and KUCB's John Ryan in Unalaska. 

Sep 24 2015
Dry Summer Causes Low Waters and Blocks Pasagshak Drainage PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 24 September 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kodiak residents may have noticed that the Pasagshak River looks a little low recently, and that hasn’t gone unobserved by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Donn Tracy is the Kodiak area management biologist for ADF & G’s sport fishing division and says the river has been low all summer and that it’s blocked off where it drains into the bay.

“It’s basically a result of low water, you know, the dry weather conditions, we’ve had low fresh-water levels in the Pasagshak drainage coupled with a gravel berm built up along the Pasagshack from a series of prevailing on-shore winds, so it’s a combination of dry weather, low water and then a berm of gravel built up on the gravel built on the beach from the waves.”

He says there are two scenarios to remedy the blockage.

“One would be going down and mechanically opening the stream channel with heavy equipment, which has been done in the past with the endorsement of the department of Fish and Game and other agencies. There’s permitting required with that because it is a salmon stream and it’s within Kodiak State Park lands.”

He says the other scenario is to let nature take its course. In other word: rain.

“Once we finally get some significant precipitation here and it raises the water level here in the lake and the remainder of the Pasagshak drainage, it will eventually push through that gravel berm and reopen the channel.”

The blockage has a negative effect on sport fishing, but they could afford to wait for rain a little while longer before stepping in.

“The actual spawning in Pasagshak drainages and other Kodiak road system drainages with the silver salmon runs, the actual spawning doesn’t occur until late October and through the month of November and, as time draws closer to that event and the river mouth continues to be blocked, then it would be even more of a concern than it is now.”

Tracy says the situation is similar through most of Kodiak Island when it comes to the smaller drainages that rely on rainfall for flow rather than melted snow like larger rivers do. That’s the situation with the Olds River.

“With the dry conditions, the water levels are so low, that the Olds River is actually dry a short ways above the highway. The low water levels and the abundance of other spawning salmon, namely pink salmon, lower the dissolved oxygen levels in the stream so that the silver salmon are really unable to get into any of the streams along the Kodiak road system right now.”

But as far as the blocked Pasagashak River goes, Tracy says forecasts for next week bring good tidings.

“We have some very large tides, ten foot tides, which are the largest tides that we’ve had here in a couple of months, and on those ten foot tides, it’s really likely that there’ll be enough water – especially if there’s some on-shore wind – there’ll be enough water breaking over that gravel berm that silver salmon will still be able to get in the drainage.”

Tracy says that even if ADF & G does open up the Pasagashak river mouth manually, the next round of waves could close it back up again. He says Kodiak’s best hope is rain.
Sep 23 2015
Local Artist to Lead Traditional Chinese Painting Workshop PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 September 2015
janet_bane.jpgJanet Bane. Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

One Kodiak artist will teach a workshop this week at the Kodiak Public Library about an art form she’s been practicing since childhood. 

4.42 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

Janet Bane says she grew up in Taiwan, but was born in mainland China.

“The south city … is a southern Confucius hometown, and at the age of 4 we have to run, my family against communist. Taiwan.  Educated there.”

In the 1950s, the same time that the communist People’s Republic of China under Chairman Mao cracked down on art and literature, Bane says she learned Chinese painting in her school in Taiwan. She says unlike in mainland China, Taiwan emphasized traditional ways.

And Bane says every aspect of traditional Chinese painting is stylized, from the materials you use to the way you handle your brush.

“You have to hold like this. You have to. The reason is then you could freely your wrist. When we were little kids, teacher would come over – even writing the same way – see if he could take out of this brush with your hands, and you get all the black ink, so he say you hold it tight. That’s the way.”

She says historically, Chinese painting was a highly valued skill among the upper classes.

"Even in ancient times, you wanted to be a government official, you took examination and then you had to master four things  - music, play Chinese chess, whatever, and then calligraphy and painting. So, so many government officials in the old days were good with art and music. Plus, intelligent, too.”
Subject matter of paintings changed with the times.

“In certain period, they were popular with the portrait… like the emperors, the riches, the farmer. Then, certain dynasty, certain artist have their specialty, but the most popular generally is flowers, birds, and then mountain, water, rocks, like scenery.”

Bane says Chinese paint is water based, but you can’t use watercolors with the paper they would use.

“Regular water paper, after you paint it on this Chinese… they call rice paper. Regular watercolor would not survive with the processing. When you put a framing, stiff it up, they would smear, but as Chinese color, it won’t.”

She says the brushes come in all types.

“Chinese brush is like chopstick, but use bamboo and holding different kinds of hair. Sometimes sheep, sometimes fox, sometimes deer. That’s old fashioned. They have different lengths, different thickness and different degree of the flexibility to express your emotion.”

Even the way of grinding up pigments has a special process. Bane says you need to keep calm and thoughtful.

“In the old fashioned, we have the ink stick, and it’s from a certain kind of tree, like charcoal stuff, you know. And you have ink stick, you grind your ink, you calm yourself down, and you’re thinking also.”

Bane says when at college in Taiwan, she switched her major from business to fine art and then, when she moved to the United States, earned her master’s degree in art education from Louisiana State University. She says around ten years ago, she worked at Kodiak College as a media librarian, and she occasionally taught Chinese painting classes to students.

You can learn more about the history of Chinese art and do some painting yourself Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The workshop is free of charge, but sign up now, as there is limited space.

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